I went back and cleaned up a bunch of comment spam. Comment spam, I'm finding out, grows geometrically once it takes root. For instance, my most-popular post ever:
Debunking Gary Gorton's Fire Sale Thesis
Was completely lousy with comment spam, with more than 50 comments, and all but six just crap. The spam had overrun the comment section like some kind of kudzu-inspired mold life form.
In cleaning up the spam, I found myself in the ironic position of deleting comments that offered high (but phony, non-specific) praise of my intellectual insights, while leaving a few comments that basically suggested I was a blowhard (but that were real).
Vive l'open society.
So anyway, be forewarned if you're hawking UK dissertation papers, low auto insurance quotes, shutters for sale in Clearwater, Florida -- I'm onto you. Go foul someone else's watering hole.